Taxpayers Often Not Top Priority

If you need to visit a Social Security office, plan to get there early. Starting next week, the public can visit Social Security offices only between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. Beginning in January, the facilities will close at noon on Wednesdays.

Social Security officials complain Congress has not given them enough money to administer the program. In fact, the $10.7 billion Congress provided for administration is $287 million less than for the previous year.

So, like many businesses and households in the United States, the Social Security Administration is having to find ways to tighten its belt. Agency officials have chosen to take their anger out on the public, including the millions of older Americans who rely on Social Security.

Could the agency have not done what many businesses have – stagger employee hours to keep stores and offices open as much as possible for their customers?

Almost undoubtedly, the agency could have found ways to avoid reducing office hours. But, like so many government bureaus, the knee-jerk reaction to spending discipline seems to have been to take out frustrations on taxpayers. No wonder some of them are angry.